What is the SES-CPA?

SES stands for Social Ecological Systems. SES science provides a theoretical framework that conceptualizes the environment as an open system consisting of ecological and social processes and components, including biomes, humans, and wildlife’ (Virapongse et.al.). Overall, SES is the idea of humans as an integrated part of natural environments encompassing the complexity of dynamic interactions between human behavior and ecosystem processes. Work in this complex structure has been scattered. The CRC (Center for Resilient Communities) recognized the need for a place to collect and store projects to build best practices for a wide spectrum of complex real-world problems. Thus, the creation of the Current Practices Archive or the CPA to provide a national and global repository for projects and case studies in Social Ecological Systems; the SES-CPA.

Why is the SES-CPA important?

In order for SES science to advance, practitioners need common frames of reference to generate and share knowledge. Sharing data knowledge of sustainability-related research issues among different expertise and perspectives of researchers allows these groups to review and analyze data across multiple dimensions of space, time, and organizational levels. Data sharing in this way also helps researchers to disseminate new methodologies for data synthesis, analysis, modeling, and visualizations.  Furthermore, it enables the rapid innovation in SES science research dynamics. The goal of SES-CPA is to aid in this innovation and advancement process by providing a shared lexicon for the development of a research language unique to SES science, not borrowed from other disciplines. SES-CPA uses this specific language to reach a common understanding of concepts and explanatory principles gained from the interchange of information and practice. The goal of this project is to promote the integration of diverse research agendas within SES science into a (resilient) community with a common language.